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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Unmet Deadlines

This post, "Unmet Deadlines", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.
It's been fun to take part in the monthly community postings offered for garden bloggers, like bloom day, the book club and Garden muse. I made a post for January Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - but the other group activities? They're just not happening right now.

It's already February 1st and there's no book club post for Carol, partly because Dear Friend and Gardener didn't arrive until last Saturday. I've read some of it, making notations on post-its but I'm finding it very slow going. Until I finish it, I'm not peeking at any of your reviews of this book.

When the Chatto/Lloyd book arrived, I was already engrossed in this Christmas gift from some Left-Coast members of our family. Michael Palin's Diaries from the Monty Python years has been completely fascinating - he was my favorite Python, and the diary is not only about the show and the movies, but his at-the-time thoughts about whatever was happening in the world. He's only a few years older than I am, so reading what he saw and thought starts reverberations in the memories of what I saw and thought in the years 1969 to 1979.

It's February 1st and there's no garden muse post. I like Carolyn's idea and have joined in before, but had nothing to say this time. Soon I'll visit those who've posted for this month.

It's February 1st, so where is the 2007 Diva Diary? I started the Divas of the Dirt website in July 2003 in tribute to this group of gardening friends and each January I write a rambling, chatty story of what we did during the previous year. It's fun for me to revisit our landscaping projects, compile the narrative and format the many photos. The post can be finished once a couple of the Divas email their recipes. We had a wonderful time at our January planning breakfast and the first project for 2008 is scheduled for later this month. Any days spent with Diva friends are precious.

I've read some of your latest posts, but haven't commented much - it's fascinating to see what's happened to our niche in the blogosphere this winter! Snowbound gardenbloggers are pouring forth narratives - past glories, present activities and future dreams are spread out like a banquet, fun to read for those who can't be outside.

This is wonderful! And while you're all busy reading and writing, I can be outside...it's really windy but not terribly cold. I'm not doing anything worth blogging about - photos of someone shoving pots around the patio would be as exciting as a video of reorganizing the towel closet. I sure don't want to write about picking weeds out of gravel! I seem to spend a lot of time just standing in the yard under the shadows of the leafless pecan branches, looking and thinking or maybe not thinking.

After removing all the frosted and faded flowers from the camellia, I couldn't resist playing with the blossoms.

The freezes get a few flowers each time but not all of them are browned, and there are many buds still coming. Last year the last flowers opened in late March.

The small, brown and fuzzy buds are starting to swell on the Michelia figo, promises of small flowers and an elusive banana fragrance from this small member of the Magnolia family.

Today I went to three nurseries - looking for another Rosa 'mutablilis'. We bought a large mutabilis for the front of the house last fall and I want a smaller plant near the patio. When I walked out to the car I noticed that this white passalong iris had opened in the pink garden near the driveway.

There are songs in my head - one that could be fun when out-of town guests arrive in a couple of weeks and one song written in 2004 that might be shaped to fit on YouTube. Thalia has already added a comic twist to the lyrics but Euterpe is needed to get the music arranged. My muses don't stick to any schedule - they appear and speak when they choose to do so. Maybe a YouTube will happen - maybe not.

In the meantime, I like looking at this lovely Cyclamen from my friend Dawn, who blogs at Suburban Wildlife Garden. I'm still planning on what to put in the cool round concrete planter I bought when Dawn and I visited Potager's right before the shop closed... a souvenir of a lovely day with a friend.
This post, "Unmet Deadlines", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. I haven't been able to keep up with all the northerners' posts either---or even Faire Garden's Frances's, busy Southerner that she is. Perhaps it's because, like you, I have been working out in the garden like crazy. And of course there's paying work claiming its share of time too.

    Did you find the 'Mutabilis' rose you were looking for? I just saw one at Natural Gardener this week. I bought a 'Radrazz' Knockout rose for the driveway strip garden. It's been fun planting and transplanting lately.

  2. HA, my ears were burning and they brought me to this post. We have been missing your rapier wit, Annie, and are glad to hear the reason for your absence was such a pleasant one!

    Frances at Faire Garden

  3. Even if it isn't a book club post or a muse post, it's good to have a post from you, Annie. Do you ever get used to irises in February? Or camellias? Or shopping for roses in the "wintertime"?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Carol, I think Annie is finally getting used to Irises and Camellias in February 'cause I see that she's starting to use " Y'all " , that Southern catchall word that doesn't officially exist.

    Meanwhile I've gotten into the habit of saying " You guys " which I swore would never happen !

    Annie, thanks for updating us on your garden and life. We missed your muse this February!

    I'm one of the snowbirds spending February in Florida. 'Nuff said !

  5. It is nice to hear from you Annie, and know that all is well. I'll think of you outside in your garden playing with camelia blooms while the winter winds blow here, and I sit at my computer sorting out last summer's photos and remembering what I wanted to blog about back then, but didn't have time :)
    I need a Cyclmen! They remind me so much of my mother. Sounds like a fun day with Dawn. I'll look forward to seeing what you put in your souvenir planter.
    I wouldn't expect your muses to stick to a schedule :)

  6. Annie, it kind of makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who can't seem to keep up with all the garden blogs AND get my gardening done. I'm sleeping less while loving all my discoveries on Blotanical - but I don't think that a good solution.

    Anyway, there is much gardening to keep up with in the south no matter the season. The more we can accomplish right now while the weather is wonderful - the better gardening will be when the humidity returns with a vengeance once again.

    Love your camellias. I don't grown them (not sure why) but my neighbor has two ginormous bushes full of blooms I am happy to adore.

  7. Glad to see your post, Annie, and know that you're busy and enjoying yourself. That's the beauty of the blogosphere--none of this is 'have to' or 'should', but purely for the fun of it, when there's time and inclination. And you've sure been putting your time to great use. I love the playing with camellias, something that doesn't grow here except indoors, of course.

  8. Annie good to see that you put fingers to keys. I am sure when I am in the garden nothing much will be posted. Don't you worry about that but it is nice to know you are well.

    One does have to wait for the muse to raise its interesting head to get something going.

  9. Annie, I wondered where you were, but assumed and hoped that you were busy in your garden. Blog reading/writing is fun, but no match for rearranging pots on the patio ;-) I hope to be doing that soon myself.

  10. Great post, Annie! I can't seem to keep up either, but I think the beauty of garden blogging is the forgiveness of our peers when they know we're absent from blogging because we are actually gardening! Too much to do, so little time. Like you, I've spent more time wandering and looking and pontificating than "working" in the garden. Today I kicked little wayward river rocks off the stone pathway and felt productive!

  11. I admire you for being out there. I should be, but I baked a cake for the Diva, realized we're out of vanilla, and I'm off to the Wal-Mart for more. Although I live rurally there is one within 20 minutes and the icing needs vanilla. :-).

    I loved the Camilla blossom arrangement. Can those be dried.

    It's nice to know what you've been up to.~~Dee

  12. Sounds so nice to be able to be outside. I love the concrete planter....calls for something special which calls for another trip to the gardening nursery, don't you think?

  13. You know, you can always go back to catch the Northerners' winter posts during your summer when it's too hot to garden. Then, you'll be waxing philosophical & we'll be too busy to post.

  14. It IS good to hear from you, Annie. The months are flying by too quickly? I agree. Tired of being cold and wearing coats.

    Your comment on camelias is so coincidental as the only color I saw today was one camelia bloom ready to open. Oh, sure, we'll have a freeze tonight.

  15. Annie, you might be surprised to know that I'd be quite happy to see pictures of pots being reorganised ... that's how desperate I am for seeing things that don't involve snow and ice.

    Sometimes we need to have these times of reading more leisurely and missing deadlines. Life's more fun that way.

    And one of these days, we can look forward to another You-Tube video from you.

    The good thing about blogs is that we can always go back and read... and read.

  16. Re arranging the pots on the patio may not be an earth shattering experience but it has to be done! ;-)

    I also find it difficult to keep up with reading and commenting on all the lovely blogs I visit regularly. There are so many of them already and more are added monthly.

    Very nice, that new Cyclamen of yours and that new pot looks pretty too. What plant are you going to put in it?

  17. I've been missing you.

    What? A video reorganizing the towel closet, boring? That's what I've been doing this week. Rearranging one closet has created a domino effect as things keep getting moved to make space for other things. Much is getting thrown out. Currently the house is filled with boxes making it looked like we just moved in. I wonder if I'll ever be able to find anything again.

  18. Hello Pam/Digging- it's so much fun to read blogs, but there won't be anything to read about if we don't get some gardening done!

    I found the 'Mutabilis' at Hill Country Gardens on Pond Spring Rd.

    Rapier wit, Frances? Bad puns are more likely! We do understand that you have a lot to tell about with your large and long-established garden.

    Carol - it's been 8 and 1/2 years, long enough to be used to the seasonal shift, but will I ever get used to no lilacs & peonies??

    Carolyn Gail - that 'y'all' came fast - I've been hanging out with the Divas of the Dirt since January 2001. But I still say 'you guys', too.
    Didn't Carol use 'y'all' the other day?

    It's always good to hear from you, too, Kerri - and am glad you pulled those container photos out of your files and posted them!

    Meems, I've already had trouble just keeping up what was already in my blogline! But the expanding number of blogs also means more people who are reading, so the fun is spread around.
    Growing camellias is not sensible at all here, but I had to try everything in zone 8.

    I like that statement about no have-to's, Jodi, one of the reasons I was attracted to blogging in the first place.
    The camellia flowers lie flat and are almost perfectly round... couldn't resist ;-]

    Lisa at Greenbow, it's hilarious how often we start to do something outside, and have tools and supplies ready, but then must run back for the camera - because if it isn't on the blog it didn't happen!

    Entangled, I've been on the computer a lot, too - working on the Diva Diary and with a music program - but those pots were bothering me! Hope you get outside soon.

    Garden blogging has become so much more interactive, Diana - there were only a few when I first started reading them, and there is too little time.
    I'm glad you like to just 'be' out there, too, in your own garden world.

    Hello Red DirtDee - that's pretty funny... you're dealing with a Diva and I've spent years working with and writing about 7 of them. Bet the cake was great.

    My life is very urban compared to yours - it still might take 20 minutes but that would be traffic and bad luck with red lights!

    Sherry, walking out the door without a coat feels like doing something illegal in February.
    The planter isn't very big - maybe it need something like a succulent or sedum- and will definitely need a trip to a fun nursery!

    Waxing philosophical comes easy at my age, MMGD - so that might happen ;-]
    But even when it's too hot to garden there are things that must be done.

    Have you looked at the camellias at Pam's Tales from the Laboratory, Mary? Camellias really like South Carolina. Hope you don't go too low in temps.

    The trouble is that everything I want to do takes so much time, Kate - but at least shoveling snow isn't one of those things.

    I like the way the posts wait for us, too - and the chance that one will be inspirational is higher than when read on a schedule.

    Our small patio is so central and visible that it needs lots of tweaking, Yolanda - and doing it now is better than in 90F/32C temperatures! I'm still pondering the new pot.

    Thank you, MSS of Zanthan.

    I wonder what that video would be like? I don't know about you, but I need to be alone to reoranize anything, so who could hold the video camera anyway! Maybe it will seem like a whole new house when you're done.

    Thank you all for commenting,


  19. Hi Annie! I hear you about being busy. I have barely been able to post with all the stuff going on around here. At this point, the need to get my clothing sewn for my upcoming vacation has been trumping everything.

    I have some crocuses that think it is spring here, and I was so excited about that until I read about your camellias. Geez.

  20. If we could judge a book by its cover, "Dear friend and gardener" looks wonderful!

  21. I think the camellia flowers are quite attractive even when completely brown and could be used as dried flower flower decorations but I don't know how durable it is. Since we have so many cycles of warmth and cold during our winters many of the camellia flowers will open and be killed by the next frost leaving brown flowers. I wanted to bring some of the brown flowers in the house to see how they would hold up but never got around to doing the experiment.

    I am not familiar with M. figo and will anxiously await to see photos of the flowers. It will be interesting to see what you have blooming on GBBD February.

  22. Wonderful Diva journal for 2007. I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful project results as well as the tablescapes. Wow, you guys have quite the feasts. Made me hungry while reading it.


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